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Thread: A question about bear rifles (has a bit to do with sailing!)

  1. #106
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    Default Re: A question about bear rifles (has a bit to do with sailing!)

    Quote Originally Posted by Decourcy View Post
    The SMLE is an excellent rifle. Probably the single most common hunting rifle in Canada until recently at least, and a lot of fun to shoot. The .303 is an excellent deer cartridge. If using one for polar bear defence, particularly in unpracticed hands, the best practice is to assume oneself unarmed.
    Very widely used, but I don't like the rear-locking bolt due to more headspace issues.

    If skilled with a bolt rifle, as mentioned, a Ruger M77, available in .375 Ruger caliber, would be ideal. Any other bolt gun in .338 Winchester would also be fine. .30 calibers such as .30-'06 would be adequate to kill, but might lack immediate stopping power.

    I agree with others, that if this is to be a short trip to the area and not need daily protection for a longer period, perhaps hire a guide.
    When you can take the pebble from my hand, it will be time for you to leave.

  2. #107
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    Default Re: A question about bear rifles (has a bit to do with sailing!)

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob (oh, THAT Bob) View Post
    Very widely used, but I don't like the rear-locking bolt due to more headspace issues.

    If skilled with a bolt rifle, as mentioned, a Ruger M77, available in .375 Ruger caliber, would be ideal. Any other bolt gun in .338 Winchester would also be fine. .30 calibers such as .30-'06 would be adequate to kill, but might lack immediate stopping power.

    I agree with others, that if this is to be a short trip to the area and not need daily protection for a longer period, perhaps hire a guide.
    Yes.

    Hire a guide.

    Get one that's a little slow and gimpy.

    Rattling the teacups.

  3. #108
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    Default Re: A question about bear rifles (has a bit to do with sailing!)

    I always feel a little internal conflict when I think about the need to preserve the more dangerous species. Polar bears are certainly under threat from climate change; and yet, can you imagine a more dangerous species? There is no doubt in my mind that they must be preserved. It just feels a little odd to know that some number of humans will die as a result.

    Grizzlies are much the same, although I don't know if climate change is the threat they face. Humans will die so long as grizzlies exist, but I can't justify eliminating them from the ecosystem.
    "Where you live in the world should not determine whether you live in the world." - Bono

    "Live in such a way that you would not be ashamed to sell your parrot to the town gossip." - Will Rogers

  4. #109
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    Default Re: A question about bear rifles (has a bit to do with sailing!)

    Quote Originally Posted by oznabrag View Post
    Yes.

    Hire a guide.

    Get one that's a little slow and gimpy.

    `Cuz you don't need to outrun the bear, just your guide?

  5. #110
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    Default Re: A question about bear rifles (has a bit to do with sailing!)

    Quote Originally Posted by oznabrag View Post
    Yes.

    Hire a guide.

    Get one that's a little slow and gimpy.

    Are you nominating me?

    I wish my sailing skills were as good as my shooting skills, darnit (haven't taken a shot in thirty years, but like riding a bike). I can get more sailing experience, but will still get seasick.
    When you can take the pebble from my hand, it will be time for you to leave.

  6. #111
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    Default Re: A question about bear rifles (has a bit to do with sailing!)

    Norway is one of the most expensive countries on Earth. Svalbard is part of Norway, but it is extremely remote and everything has to be imported, usually by air, so Svalbard is the most expensive place in Norway. It may well be the most expensive place in the world.

    The population is 2,359.

    I am planning to go in my own boat. There are good anchorages if you know what you are doing. The number of cruising yachts visiting Svalbard each year is increasing. Back in 1974 I was on the very first one. I can afford to sail there but there is no possible way that I can afford a guide and there is no reason for me to do so apart from the extremely small risk - for a yachtsman - of meeting a polar bear looking for lunch.

    https://www.earthtrekkers.com/svalba...isit-svalbard/
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  7. #112
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    Default Re: A question about bear rifles (has a bit to do with sailing!)

    "Never carry more than you can run with." - Gordon Baxter
    When you can take the pebble from my hand, it will be time for you to leave.

  8. #113
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    Default Re: A question about bear rifles (has a bit to do with sailing!)

    Clearly, there is a market here for Tasers for bears.
    When you can take the pebble from my hand, it will be time for you to leave.

  9. #114
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    Default Re: A question about bear rifles (has a bit to do with sailing!)




    IMAGINES VEL NON FUERINT

  10. #115
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    Default Re: A question about bear rifles (has a bit to do with sailing!)

    I worked for the Forest Service in Alaska, out in the bush, in very large Brown bear country. I carried a bolt action .375 H&H every day, plus bear spray, both of which were issued to me by the gov't. Like the FS, I'd have looked askance at any lesser caliber.

    Dave

  11. #116
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    Default Re: A question about bear rifles (has a bit to do with sailing!)

    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Craig-Bennett View Post



    That isn’t one of Tilman’s?

  12. #117
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    Default Re: A question about bear rifles (has a bit to do with sailing!)

    Quote Originally Posted by Decourcy View Post
    That isn’t one of Tilman’s?
    Something of an explanation.
    http://forum.woodenboat.com/showthre...light=Svalbard
    I'd much rather lay in my bunk all freakin day lookin at Youtube videos .

  13. #118
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    Default Re: A question about bear rifles (has a bit to do with sailing!)

    I’ll go back and read Tilman’s book of that voyage now. I have them all in my library. Fantastic to have another voice from onboard. Thank you, Andrew, for sharing that on the other thread. Simply fantastic.

  14. #119
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    Default Re: A question about bear rifles (has a bit to do with sailing!)

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Pless View Post
    big bore ar would be entirely ridiculous
    the norweigans and alaskans have figure this all out a long time ago
    short barreled lever action (marlin) guide guns in .45-70 or larger

    anything else would be foolish, truly
    Quote Originally Posted by Bob (oh, THAT Bob) View Post
    (bold) Beat me to it. For the inexperienced, a lever gun is easier to operate than a bolt, and the cartridges are designed for the mission. From wiki on the Marlin 336 page:



    For any firearm used in sub-freezing conditions, it's very important to NOT go quickly from cold to warm and then cold again; This will cause condensation in the action, followed by freezing, resulting in a stuck action, as well as rust. If VERY cold such as -20C or less, attention needs to be paid to action lubricants so that they don't thicken enough to impede action function.
    I was going to suggest a Marlin .444 Magnum, but didn't due to concern with condensation/icing, I didn't.

    Nit quite as much oomph as a .375 H+H, but is still speaks with a great deal of authority. 3100+ ft-lbs (4300+ joules) at the muzzle; 2100+ ft-lbs (3100 joules) at 100 yards. Probably want a hot load with fully jacketed bullets instead of the usual soft nose or hollow points, though.

    My dad had a 444 Marlin. My brother has it now. First time we went shooting with it, we took it out to an old quarry. Take a target up to a tree (ash? oak?) maybe 8 or 10 inches in diameter, and backed off 100 yards or so. First shot was a little off the bull to the left or right. Dropped the tree, it did.

    An afternoon at the range with it and you, or at least your shoulder, will feel like you went a dozen rounds with a heavyweight boxer.
    You would not enjoy Nietzsche, sir. He is fundamentally unsound. — P.G. Wodehouse (Carry On, Jeeves)

  15. #120
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    Default Re: A question about bear rifles (has a bit to do with sailing!)

    Quote Originally Posted by Nicholas Carey View Post
    I was going to suggest a Marlin .444 Magnum, but didn't due to concern with condensation/icing, I didn't.

    Nit quite as much oomph as a .375 H+H, but is still speaks with a great deal of authority. 3100+ ft-lbs (4300+ joules) at the muzzle; 2100+ ft-lbs (3100 joules) at 100 yards. Probably want a hot load with fully jacketed bullets instead of the usual soft nose or hollow points, though.

    My dad had a 444 Marlin. My brother has it now. First time we went shooting with it, we took it out to an old quarry. Take a target up to a tree (ash? oak?) maybe 8 or 10 inches in diameter, and backed off 100 yards or so. First shot was a little off the bull to the left or right. Dropped the tree, it did.

    An afternoon at the range with it and you, or at least your shoulder, will feel like you went a dozen rounds with a heavyweight boxer.
    .375 H&H is a tried and true cartridge, but requires a magnum length action, expensive these days. .375 Ruger was designed for equal performance (perhaps even a bit better), from a standard length action (i.e., .30-'06 length), and from a barrel as short as 20". The cartridge has a lot less taper than the H&H, the latter of which was designed for easy feeding and extraction under tropical conditions, but there have been no reports of either with the Ruger.

    Back at my dad's place is a Marlin 1895 in .45-70 which I've only fired a couple rounds through, just to test. (.450 Marlin is a much newer and superior cartridge, thicker wall, can be loaded to much higher pressure, but mostly because the .45-70 commercial loads are limited, lest someone put it into a trapdoor Springfield; Handloads can go higher. .444 pressures are up there like the .450 .) A friend of dad's was selling that and a .50 double muzzleloader, dad took the .50 double and I took the Marlin, but that went back to him when I needed the money before college to buy a BLR.
    When you can take the pebble from my hand, it will be time for you to leave.

  16. #121
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    Default Re: A question about bear rifles (has a bit to do with sailing!)

    I absolutely agree, Andrew. Guides are for the big money in the big yachts. Ordinary yachtsmen get by just fine around Svalbard without one.

    FYI, the Norwegian Pilot Guide is available for free download here: https://www.kartverket.no/en/at-sea/...ing-directions
    The bilingual Svalbard and Jan Mayen guide should be of particular interest. There is also an online tool, which is what they are transitioning to and is geared more towards the professional mariner on an itinerary.

    You will also want to bookmark https://www.barentswatch.no/en/ The site contains a very useful online ArcticInfo tool. There is also a wave forecast, which can be particularly useful when rounding the Stad peninsula.

    BTW, should you find yourself southbound down Forlandsundet and beating into a stiff eastern gale as you enter Isfjorden, it usually pays to cross over to Grønfjorden and follow the south coast towards Longyearbyen. The weather is usually much more beningn on that side.
    Last edited by Oyvind Snibsoer; 06-16-2021 at 03:55 AM.
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  17. #122
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    Default Re: A question about bear rifles (has a bit to do with sailing!)

    Andrew, you must write about this trip if you do it.

  18. #123
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    Default Re: A question about bear rifles (has a bit to do with sailing!)

    Quote Originally Posted by Oyvind Snibsoer View Post
    I absolutely agree, Andrew. Guides are for the big money in the big yachts. Ordinary yachtsmen get by just fine around Svalbard without one.

    FYI, the Norwegian Pilot Guide is available for free download here: https://www.kartverket.no/en/at-sea/...ing-directions
    The bilingual Svalbard and Jan Mayen guide should be of particular interest. There is also an online tool, which is what they are transitioning to and is geared more towards the professional mariner on an itinerary.

    You will also want to bookmark https://www.barentswatch.no/en/ The site contains a very useful online ArcticInfo tool. There is also a wave forecast, which can be particularly useful when rounding the Stad peninsula.

    BTW, should you find yourself southbound down Forlandsundet and beating into a stiff eastern gale as you enter Isfjorden, it usually pays to cross over to Grønfjorden and follow the south coast towards Longyearbyen. The weather is usually much more beningn on that side.
    Thank you very much, Oyvind.
    IMAGINES VEL NON FUERINT

  19. #124
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Craig-Bennett View Post





    Jealous!



    This looks to be a wonderful cruise!


    Kevin


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  20. #125
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    Default Re: A question about bear rifles (has a bit to do with sailing!)

    I regret to this day that I came down with a bout of the flu while in Bergen aboard an oceanographic research ship, and subsequently had to leave the ship and return to Canada after a few horrible days in a hotel. We were to depart Bergen and do a 45-day research cruise in and around Spitsbergen.
    Hope for the best, but plan for the worst.

  21. #126
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    Default Re: A question about bear rifles (has a bit to do with sailing!)

    Andrew, here's some reading material for your voyage. The author was a long time family friend.

    Cold Coasts cover.jpg

    THE COLD COASTS – A detailed and factual account of the 1955 spy-ship mission of the Norwegian sealing vessel Godønes. Written and illustrated by an American who was aboard. On that mission, American and Norwegian intelligence officers and scientists conducted an electronic intelligence mission covering Soviet mining operations in Svalbard as well as facilities on nearby Soviet shores. Members of the team also went ashore on Bear Island and Spitsbergen to locate potential sites for military airbases. This was a Cold War adventure in the high Arctic, featuring pack ice, seals and polar bears, and frigid islands just a few hundred miles from the North Pole. It could have become an international incident – until a huge ice floe intervened and abruptly ended the mission..................

    https://www.amazon.com/Cold-Coasts-J.../dp/1481083899
    "George Washington as a boy
    was ignorant of the commonest
    accomplishments of youth.
    He could not even lie."

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